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Michigan's Hoke expects Gardner to get 5th season

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Michigan's Hoke expects Gardner to get 5th season

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan coach Brady Hoke had some good news to share two days after a regular season-ending loss to rival Ohio State.

Hoke said on Monday a medical-redshirt request is being sent to the Big Ten on Devin Gardner's behalf. If a medical hardship is granted, Gardner will be eligible to play during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

``I would expect that would go through,'' Hoke said.

Gardner started the last four games of the regular season at quarterback. He was limited to three games as a freshman under former coach Rich Rodriguez at least in part because of a back injury.

Gardner was recruited by Rodriguez as a QB and moved to receiver this year to get on the field with Denard Robinson. When Robinson hurt his right elbow, Gardner went back under center and had success until the then-20th-ranked Wolverines lost 26-21 Saturday at No. 4 Ohio State.

``I know how terrible he feels right now, but there is some momentum and things to learn from,'' Hoke said. ``He had some success, too.''

Gardner did play very well in four straight starts in place of Robinson, who couldn't play in two games and was limited in the last two because of an elbow injury. The two were on the field a lot in a 42-17 rout over Iowa.

After Michigan coaches and players spent a week being coy about their plans to use both players at Ohio State, the Wolverines baffled everyone by not playing them together very much in Saturday's loss to the Buckeyes.

``I would say the reason would be it wasn't exactly the timing of it,'' Hoke said. ``There is a timing of how you set things up, especially in the second half. We turned the ball over three times. So offensively, you're a little bit out of your realm and your mojo.''

After Robinson made some big plays in the first half, including a 67-yard run in which two defenders hit him at the same time and couldn't bring him down, he didn't get the ball much after halftime.

Robinson did get the ball on perhaps the pivotal play of the game and got stopped for a 2-yard loss on fourth down near midfield. That ended Michigan's first drive of the second half when it led 21-20 after Hoke called timeout to think about whether to fake a punt or to go for it.

``The only thing I wish I wouldn't have done was call the timeout,'' Hoke said.

Robinson took the blame for the result of the play.

``I've got to come a little tighter and then get outside a little more,'' he said Saturday. ``I made a bad read on that run and that's my fault.''

Other than wishing he didn't call a timeout in that situation, Hoke insisted he didn't have any regrets about how Gardner and Robinson were used at Ohio State.

Michigan (8-4) dropped one spot to No. 20 in this week's Associated Press college football poll and will have to wait for the results of Saturday night's Big Ten championship game, in which Nebraska plays Wisconsin, to get some clarity for its postseason plans.

The Wolverines will work out but not practice this week in part because they don't know when or against whom they'll play next.

At some point soon, Hoke said he will talk to offensive tackle Taylor Lewan about his future, which might include skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Hoke said he and Lewan are waiting to get a response from the NFL's draft advisory board that provides juniors with an estimate of where they might be selected if they make themselves eligible to be drafted.

Will Hoke advise him to stay or go?

``I want to gear the young man into what's the best for him,'' Hoke said.

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Caps announce preseason schedule to kick off a busy week

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps announce preseason schedule to kick off a busy week

The Stanley Cup champion Caps will open their seven-game exhibition schedule on Sept. 16 season against the Bruins at TD Garden, the team announced.  

Washington will face Boston, Carolina and St. Louis twice apiece—once on the road, once at home—and the 

Canadiens one time. The game against the Habs will be played at Videotron Arena in Quebec City.

NBC Sports Washington’s preseason broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the preseason entire slate:

Date                    Opponent           Location                      Time
Sun., Sept. 16      at Boston          TD Garden                  1 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 18    vs. Boston         Capital One Arena     7 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 20  at Montreal      Quebec City, Que.      7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21        at Carolina        PNC Arena                  7:30 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 25    at St. Louis        Enterprise Center      7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28        vs. Carolina       Capital One Arena    7 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 30      vs. St. Louis      Capital One Arena     3 p.m.

Monday's announcement kicked off a busy week for the Caps.

On Wednesday, Alex Ovechkin will pick up his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Nicklas Backstrom will also be on hand for media interviews; key members of the Cup-winning team are typically in attendance.

On Friday and Saturday in Dallas, Washington will make selections in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th rounds of the 2018 Entry Draft at American Airlines Center. (Their fifth-round pick was dealt to Minnesota in the Tyler Graovac deal.)

Next Monday, many of the organization’s prospects, including this year’s picks, will report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the start of development camp. The schedule and roster will be announced this week.

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Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams drop slightly but still near top in MLB All-Star Game votes

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Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams drop slightly but still near top in MLB All-Star Game votes

The MLB All-Star Game is at Nationals Park and is now less than a month away, so let's check in on how D.C.'s top players and fan favorites are doing in the voting. 

After the first National League All-Star Game ballot update last week, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams were the three Nationals among the top players receiving votes. And while that's still the case, they've all dropped one position since last week. Perhaps because of the Nats' recent slump?

Opening as the No. 1 outfielder, Harper is now No. 2 in the voting with 1,002,696 tallies, behind Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis with 1,173,653 votes. They are, however, the only two outfielders with more than a million votes and 2-of-5 overall in the voting. 

Adams — who was 14th among outfielders last week — slid one spot to No. 15 with 237,165 votes.

Last week, Turner was the No. 4 shortstop on the ballot, but he has since dropped to No. 4 with 279,071 votes. He's behind San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford, Braves' Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell and Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story — who was the one to jump Turner this time around. 

If you're a Nats fan who doesn't like these results, don't worry. You can keep voting until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and you can vote up to five times every 24 hours. Read more about how to vote for your favorite players in the MLB All-Star Game HERE

The 2018 NL-AL matchup is in Washington, D.C. on July 17.

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